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which chesscomputer for novice ?
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SirDave
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Joined: 09 Sep 2010
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Location: Southern California USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Contrary view Reply with quote

sje wrote:
I will take the contrary view and suggest that caution is needed regarding giving any dedicated chess computer to a young person.

For school aged kids, chess can be a lot of fun. But that fun comes not so much from shuffling plastic on a painted board, but rather from the social experience gained from friendly competition with others of the same age. A kid who hides in his room alone with a toy is missing out on a very necessary part of transitioning to adulthood.

Chess prodigies are common. But how many of them became psychologically healthy adults? Tragedies like Morphy and Fischer are the first to come to mind; I'm sure there are many others less famous. People like these could have had a much better childhood had they escaped exploitation by others, and probably still would have become world class chessplayers.


These days, there are so many electronic distractions for kids that getting them to play chess at all is a challenge in and of itself so if one can get them to play a dedicated chess board, it will be an accomplishment.

In this day and age of smartphones and iPads with countless chess apps, the challenge is actually to get children to play with a traditional board and pieces in the first place. Of course, if a school-age child shows enough interest in chess, some sort of chess club would a good plan.
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Monsieur Plastique
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mars wrote:
Assume that
http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php/Novag_Primo
this one is different? I have one for the kids but it seems a bit too strong yet...

Novag Regards,
Martin


Yes, the Primo was in a different class, being a much larger program in proportionate if not absolute terms. It would not be a good choice of a beginner as it was a "serious" lower-mid level machine back in the "serious" days where chess computers such as those were mainly used by club players.

Although, for example, a Novag Star Opal or Carnelian II are "16K" programs - as is the Primo - much of the available space in the later models is taken up by very large books for the ROM size. This is of course very different in the Primo and indeed much earlier evolutions of the Novag 16K product lines - from the original Constellation 2.0 MHz onwards - which, for example, only had around 3,000 half moves.

When you get to ROM sizes this small, freeing up code space by sacrificing book moves makes a big difference in playing strength - and in the case of all the machines being discussed - the propensity to make blunders.

Mind you, the Star Opal / Carnelian II / Star Aquamarine coffee house style is a lot of fun and on the fixed time levels they statistically make less blunders than on the average response time levels. But they still do not have the relatively assured and solid playing manner of the 16K programs from the "early" days and are without any doubt whatsoever, noticeably weaker.
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Mars
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monsieur Plastique wrote:
Mind you, the Star Opal / Carnelian II / Star Aquamarine coffee house style is a lot of fun and on the fixed time levels they statistically make less blunders than on the average response time levels. But they still do not have the relatively assured and solid playing manner of the 16K programs from the "early" days and are without any doubt whatsoever, noticeably weaker.


Hm, okay I see. If someone was looking for a mildly comfortable computer (LEDs and no LCD) which is weak enough for beginners then, let's say,

http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php/Novag_Carnelian_II

looks nice (Holz pieces!). ELO ~1550. If we want to go down the list even further, we'd find

http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php/Novag_Alto

ELO ~1200 or so...? Well and a very nice dedicated is of course the classic

http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php/Fidelity_Sensory_8

which is listed in the Wiki with ELO ~1300. But as you say, an entertaining coffee house style is something to be considered as well...

Heuristic Blunders Regards,
Martin
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Monsieur Plastique
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forgot machines like Sensory 8 and Alto have long been off the market so you'd have to deal with aged second hand models. Sensory 8 machines appear on eBay all the time, but I personally cannot recommend them for anyone except a collector who wants to fill a gap in their collection. As far as chess playing ability goes, they are a 4K Ron Nelson program and play extremely weak, boring and aimless chess.

I would steer clear of all earlier Novag 4K programs except the last generation ones such as those found in the current "4K" and "16K" models - such as Carnelian II as you mentioned.

The 1550 rating is in my opinion and experience too high. That suggests it is not that much weaker than an original Constellation but the difference in strength is significant, though the playing style of the Carnelian II is arguably more interesting and entertaining. I would say the Carnelian II is somewhere around the mid to high 1400s range. It is one of those programs that at one time can amaze you with a deep tactical continuation or seemingly brilliant positional series of moves, then at other times will inexplicably blunder on the move (such as allowing a fork or skewer on the very next half move) - just like a human. But as I say, the higher the fixed level you choose, the incidence of those blunders decreases noticeably.
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Theo
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry wrote:
Theo wrote:


I think the Explorer Pro would be a very good computer for a beginning chess player. I had one. It has got several beginner levels:

Hi Theo, I take your point about the fun levels making the Explorer Pro
suitable for beginners, but that does still leave us with the question of
price. They can get a Fidelity CC8 for peanuts and use it until the girls
decide the chess fad is over then sell it without spending much money.
Just my opinion...I have been known to be wrong before. Smile
L



Hi Larry,

I don't know the Fidelity CC8, maybe you're right. If it were my kids, I'd prefer a brand new toy rather than a 30y old used one though, just for hygiene.

Apart from that, such a computer would help greatly for the first steps in chess. I remember I went to a chess club, but still it was very good to have a Mephisto at home. Play whenever you wish & try everything out & take back moves Very Happy

Kind Regards,
Theo
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krisderennes
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Location: France, Rennes in Bretagne

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember i have bought Saitek Mephisto Explorer pro for my twin daughter.
They tried to the auto adaptative level with -350 elo of difference.
And one win and the other one did a "Pat".
So nice.

The products is quite nice but is a beat cheap.
thanks for evry one who help me.

happy new year to you
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kosterix
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got a Novag Star Aquamarine from some brit whose granddad passed away and obviously does not play chess.

Once i figured out the on/off switch on the back I started a game just for fun I pressed the red button marked "Go".

I'm not a bad chess player (somewhat below club level) and the bloody thing kicked my ass with a series of brilliant moves. It played like an adolescent punk in high spirits. Fantastic toy. However it seems it never makes mistakes.

According to the manual, the NSA has also some kind of training mode that is intended for novices or something.

I would appreciate if someone could point out how to set the NSA to a mode where it sometimes blunders while other times not play like an idiot. Please give instructions of type press this button then that..
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Steve B
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kosterix wrote:

_________________
I do not collect, I live.



The Key to a good life is to..

Do Both regards
Steve
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Vincenzo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kosterix wrote:
I just got a Novag Star Aquamarine from some brit whose granddad passed away and obviously does not play chess.

Once i figured out the on/off switch on the back I started a game just for fun I pressed the red button marked "Go".

I'm not a bad chess player (somewhat below club level) and the bloody thing kicked my ass with a series of brilliant moves. It played like an adolescent punk in high spirits. Fantastic toy. However it seems it never makes mistakes.

According to the manual, the NSA has also some kind of training mode that is intended for novices or something.

I would appreciate if someone could point out how to set the NSA to a mode where it sometimes blunders while other times not play like an idiot. Please give instructions of type press this button then that..



Assuming the Star Aquamarine is just a stronger version of the Aquamarine, then this should do the trick:

New Game
Press Set Level
Press the square G1
Press Go

And you are away.

If this level is too easy then repeat with square G2 instead, and so forth up to G8. Once you can beat G8 then try the other levels as per manual.
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kosterix
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: which chesscomputer for novice ? Reply with quote

krisderennes wrote:
Monsieur Plastique wrote:
krisderennes wrote:

I saw the aquamarine Novag but on comments I saw that level 1 was already very very hard.


For example, you can set it to the lowest standard variable level or limit it to only a 1 ply search.

with occasional blunders even on it's strongest levels.



hello here http://www.amazon.com/Novag-Star-Aquamarine-Chess-Computer/product-reviews/B004G0ONM6/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
there is a beginner who tested it and can not beat the computer.
So i am not sure at all that il will be good for my daughters.
I will search someone who have one to ask him.


Your link is not pointing to a novag star aquamarine. Please read more carefully.
I was totally amazed how brilliant the NSA played, have not found any blunder. If I were you I'd buy a MK12 trainer for your daughters. Cheap and intentionally makes mistakes.
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kosterix
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vincenzo wrote:


New Game
Press Set Level
Press the square G1
Press Go

And you are away..


well thanks! I did read the manual but found it very confusing. A1-A8 are progressively rising strength; B1 >A8 and so on, so I would not guess that G1 would be actually weaker..

What level does it play right from the start? Meaning turn it on, press new game.
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Irrawang
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just recently played my Excalibur Grandmaster for OTB practice and lost to level 6 which is designated the weakest at one ply search, but because of capture extensions it actually goes deeper than one ply. I had the same experience with Mephisto London program set at one ply. Interestingly Novag machines offer two ply levels with restricted capture extensions. We Humans are more prone to make mistakes involving capture sequences.
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kosterix
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve B wrote:
kosterix wrote:

_________________
I do not collect, I live.



The Key to a good life is to..

Do Both regards
Steve


well, to be honest, I do turn out to collect, but that is merely by accident and as a result of Life throwing more things at me than all of my will power can withstand. Resulting in 45+ board games, 40+ pc games, 70+ ds games, 50+ console games, 3 chess computers, 1 checkers computer, a keyboard, 300+ physical books, and no energy to consume them. Really need to go offline...
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kosterix
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irrawang wrote:
Just recently played my Excalibur Grandmaster for OTB practice and lost to level 6 which is designated the weakest at one ply search, but because of capture extensions it actually goes deeper than one ply. I had the same experience with Mephisto London program set at one ply. Interestingly Novag machines offer two ply levels with restricted capture extensions. We Humans are more prone to make mistakes involving capture sequences.


I know the feeling. I seem to believe 30 years ago I was actually better at chess than I'll ever be. But what is OTB and how come weakest is called level 6, what happened on level, ehm, 5?
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Steve B
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kosterix wrote:

well, to be honest, I do turn out to collect
3 chess computers...
Really need to go offline...


no no..what you really need to do is collect more dedicated chess computers
need to bring that 3 up to mid 200's(at least)
if that's too high then 100 is always an admirable goal
these days..with Ebay...should take no time at all to bring that collection total up to speed
you might want to consider selling (also on Ebay)all of those other unnecessary things you are collecting and with the funds buy even more chess computers

Helpful Advice Regards
Steve
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